RUMFORD — Selectmen settled one street sign issue Thursday night and tabled another.

They voted 5-0 to table erecting signs on Knox Street to allow for funeral parking near Holy Savior Church so the Fire Department could determine if its ladder truck could safely fit between parked cars along both sides of the street.

By another unanimous vote, they authorized Town Manager John Madigan to get a Route 2 West sign posted near Franklin Street and a white arrow painted on the Route 2 road surface to help travelers stay on that road instead of mistaking Franklin Street for Route 2. 

Both are viewed as public safety matters. 

At the board’s Aug. 21 meeting, Selectman Mark Belanger raised the issues so the board could discuss and resolve them at Thursday night’s meeting.

Madigan started discussion on the Knox Street issue, telling the board that past concerns have been brought by residents, complaining that funeral attendees at the church were blocking their driveways.

“It’s a narrow street,” he said.

Police Chief Stacy Carter agreed.

“There’s been many incidents up there of vehicles blocking driveways,” he said. “We need to have a discussion to fix the problem.”

Carter said there are four parking spots by the church, two handicap spots and two parking spaces between each driveway.

“We can’t just disregard the complaints, because it’s an inconvenience for the landowner who can’t get in or out of their driveway,” he said.

Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina said it’s more of a problem in the wintertime due to snowbanks and people parking on both sides of the street. He suggested creating a pickup and drop-off point.

“We need to keep signs in place and enforce them,” Buccina said.

Belanger said property owners are creating the winter problem by plowing snow against the church, which is illegal in Rumford.

He said he does 70 funerals a year and was once ticketed by police for parking in a handicap spot after he left the nose of his truck partially in the spot for a few minutes. He said someone alerted police to it, and then a firefighter photographed his truck there and posted it on Facebook.

Selectman Frank DiConzo agreed with Buccina, saying the only time there’s a problem is during the winter.

“We have to start citing people who plow snow against the church,” DiConzo said.

After more discussion and suggestions such as limiting parking to one side of the street, as is done on some other town streets, DiConzo motioned to allow parking on the street only during spring, summer and fall months. It was seconded.

However, fire Chief Bob Chase said he hasn’t checked to see if a firetruck could safely fit between parked cars on both sides of the street. So the motion and second motion were rescinded. The board tabled discussion to its next board meeting on Monday, Sept. 22.

On the Route 2 sign issue, Carter said directional signs should be painted on the street and not posted in the median, because signs erected there invariably get knocked over.

Selectman Jeff Sterling noted that there used to be a Route 2 sign posted along Route 2, but it had been taken out by a traffic accident and was never replaced.

Madigan suggested painting an arrow on the street and erecting a Route 2 West sign just past Meader & Sons Funeral Home’s garage. The board voted for him to take care of the matter.

In other business, the board voted 5-0 to:

* Carry forward several designated fund balance accounts, totaling $1.68 million.

* Allow Envision Rumford! to use town benches, tables and trash cans for its October Pumpkin Fest event and agreed to appropriate $500 from the Economic Development fund for a three- to four-hour radio broadcast of the festival.

* Release a deed for Mark Davis for property that voters approved on July 24.

* Approve a parade permit for the River Valley Healthy Communities’ Downtown Dash 5K Race.

* Approve an agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation to replace two culverts on Andover Road and divert traffic onto Jed Martin and Whippoorwill roads while those projects are being done.

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